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An Extended Pause: New Presidential Proclamation Halts US Entry for Thousands of Workers

As expected, President Trump signed a presidential proclamation (“Suspension of Entry of Immigrants and Nonimmigrants who Present a Risk to the United States Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak” hereafter “Nonimmigrant Proclamation”) extending the duration of his prior suspension of immigrant visas (for those entering the U.S. permanently) and … Continue Reading

DHS Extends Flexibility Relating to I-9 Execution for Remote Workers While Increasing Civil Penalties for Violations (US)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently announced another extension, through July 19, 2020, of its COVID-19 temporary policy of deferring the physical presence requirements associated with Form I-9 compliance in relation to hiring and re-verifying certain remote employees.  However, within days of announcing this reprieve for employers, DHS … Continue Reading

Dreamer Deferred: The Supreme Court DACA Ruling’s Effect on Employers (US)

On June 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration’s attempt to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) fell short of the legal requirements for ending such a broad executive program.  The Court held that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) effort to terminate DACA was “arbitrary and capricious” and … Continue Reading

USCIS Premium Processing Service Returns for Certain Petitions in Different Stages (US)

USCIS announced on May 29, 2020 that it will resume premium processing for Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Workers and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, in stages during the month of June. Premium Processing Service has been suspended since March 20, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Premium processing provides expedited processing … Continue Reading

U.S. Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry of Certain Students and Researchers from People’s Republic of China

On May 29, 2020, the President issued a proclamation blocking certain nationals of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) from entering the United States in F-1 or J-1 nonimmigrant status in order to study or conduct research. The proclamation takes effect on June 1, 2020 at 12:00 pm (EDT) and remains in effect until terminated … Continue Reading

White House Expands COVID-19 Travel Ban to Cover Brazil (US)

The Trump administration announced an expansion of its COVID-19 travel ban to include those seeking to enter the U.S. from Brazil.  The new Proclamation issued on Sunday, May 24, 2020, bars all non-U.S. citizens who have been physically present in Brazil during the 14-day period prior to entering or attempting to enter the United States. … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Immigration Pause: How Will President Trump’s New Immigration Suspension Affect US Employers?

Two days after teasing a temporary halt to US immigration, on April 22, 2020, President Trump issued the first of what may be multiple Presidential Proclamations aimed at stemming US immigration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Proclamation, which is more limited than many expected, centers on a 60-day US entry ban for certain … Continue Reading

USCIS Temporarily Suspends In-Person Services Due To Its COVID-19 Response (US)

USCIS has suspended in-person services from March 18, 2020, until at least April 1, 2020, to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. During this period, the agency will not conduct in-person adjustment of status or naturalization interviews, naturalization ceremonies, or Application Support Center biometrics appointments. USCIS field offices will send cancellation notices to applicants with … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Outbreak U.S. Travel Ban Update: UK and Republic of Ireland Added

Just three days after issuing a Proclamation expanding the scope of the temporary travel (entry) bans, due to the global outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19), which restricted entry and travel to the United States of foreign nationals (immigrants or nonimmigrants) who were physically present within the European Schengen Area, President Trump’s Proclamation now includes … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Outbreak US Travel Ban Expanded To Include Europe Schengen Area

President Trump has issued another Presidential Proclamation expanding the scope of two previously issued travel bans suspending entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants into the United States, subject to certain exceptions detailed below, due to the global outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (also referred to the as the coronavirus disease 2019 or“COVID-19”). This Proclamation, entitled, Suspension … Continue Reading

Employer Update: DHS Issues New Form I-9 with Mandatory Use by May 1, 2020 (US)

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) recently issued a new version of its Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, which is used to verify the employment authorization and identity for all employees in the United States. Although employers may now begin to use the new version, which has a 10/21/2019 version date on the bottom, … Continue Reading

DHS New Fee Schedule and Other Changes Proposal (US)

The Proposed Rule On November 14, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a notice of a proposed rule that will considerably alter the fees associated with US filings and immigration benefits. The proposal also includes significant changes to some of the immigration forms published by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). DHS … Continue Reading

H-1B Cap Registration: USCIS Says It’s On For 2020 (US)

On December 6, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has completed pilot testing and is implementing the long-anticipated electronic registration tool for the next H-1B lottery of fiscal year (FY) 2021 H-1B visas. In its announcement, USCIS indicated that the initial H-1B cap registration period will run from March 1, 2020 … Continue Reading

UK Business Immigration Update – Changes to the Immigration Rules Announced

On 9 September 2019, the UK government announced changes to the Immigration Rules, which go on for nearly 100 pages. Read a summary of the key changes of most direct relevance to employers, sponsors and recruiters, and view the full Statement of Changes online. In addition to these changes, there has been another important and very … Continue Reading

USCIS has drawn the H-1B lucky numbers, but winners may have to hold off on celebrating (US)

On April 11th, USCIS announced that its computer-generated random selection process was completed. USCIS drew the numbers of the lucky H-1B petitions that made the cut under the congressionally-mandated regular cap of 65,000 visa numbers and the U.S. advanced degree exemption of 20,000 visa numbers for fiscal year (FY) 2020.… Continue Reading

H-1B Premium Processing Update: It’s On! Again! Mostly (US)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced the reinstatement of premium processing service for H-1B nonimmigrant petitions, with an exception.  Premium processing permits an employer to pay an extra fee (currently $1410) to receive expedited processing for certain employment-based petitions. If requested, USCIS guarantees 15 calendar day processing or it will refund the premium … Continue Reading

USCIS Issues H-1B Cap Registration Proposal

In a proposed rule published in today’s Federal Register, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is resurrecting and modifying a previous proposal from 2011 to implement an electronic pre-registration system for H-1B cap petitions. H-1B visas are for high-skilled “specialty workers” in positions that require at least a Bachelor’s degree in a specific related … Continue Reading

Social Security Administration to Resume Social Security Mismatch Letter Notification Program in 2019 (US)

The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) recently announced that in 2019, it will restart its mismatch letter notification program.  Through “mismatch” letters, formally titled “Employer Correction Requests,” the SSA notifies employers that the social security number (“SSN”) and name reported for one or more employees does not match SSA records.  These notification letters advise employers that … Continue Reading

State of the Union Address Provides Hints of Trump Administration Priorities for U.S. Employers

In his first State of the Union Address, President Trump made the case for his first year in office as one of extraordinary legislative and regulatory accomplishments as part of his Administration’s efforts to build a “Safe, Strong, and Proud America.” In fact, 2017 was not a year of major legislative accomplishments, with the exception … Continue Reading

As the Feds and California Play Tug-Of-War Over Immigration Enforcement, Are Employers Caught in the Middle?

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a package of bills into law, affectionately known as “Sanctuary State” legislation. Collectively, these new laws, which take effect on January 1, 2018, will prevent State and local enforcement agencies from acting as deputies for federal immigration enforcement authorities, prevent local authorities from detaining immigrants beyond scheduled release dates … Continue Reading

The Hits Keep Coming: Third Travel Ban Partially Blocked by Two Court Rulings

For the third time in 2017, US District Courts have thwarted the Trump administration’s attempt to implement a travel ban. On October 17, 2017, the US District Court for the District of Hawaii issued a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) blocking most of the restrictions President Trump laid out in his newest September 24, 2017 travel … Continue Reading
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